Loyola Medicine 5K Run/Walk for Pediatric Care and Research
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Run/Walk at Brookfield Zoo Benefits Loyola Pediatric Care and Research

MAYWOOD, IL – Four-year-old Ellie Garcia's recent battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia will make this year's Loyola Medicine 5K especially poignant for her family.

Ellie and her family and friends will be among the expected 2,000 runners and walkers at the seventh annual Loyola Medicine 5K Run/Walk for Pediatric Care and Research on Sunday, June 3, at 7:30 am at Brookfield Zoo.

Ellie, who lives in Chicago's Garfield Ridge community, was born at Loyola and has been a patient ever since. In January, she began experiencing recurrent fevers. Her pediatrician ordered additional testing and she was diagnosed with leukemia the same day. After four months of treatment, Ellie is in remission and continues to undergo interim maintenance chemotherapy.

"I have so much love for what Loyola has done for Ellie," said Teresa Contreras, Ellie's mother. "I knew she was in good hands at Loyola when she was diagnosed.

As a way to help children like Ellie, the Garcias have formed Team Super EllieBelly, which includes Ellie's father, a two-year-old sister and an 11-year-old brother. The family participated in the 5K a few years ago prior to Ellie's diagnosis, but they said this walk will be special after everything Ellie has been through. 

"The race is a good opportunity to come together and show support not just for Ellie but all the kids who are at Loyola," Ms. Contreras said. "Before, participating in the race was about a good feeling of giving back. Now we have seen the impact of Loyola's work on families like ours."

Registration for the 5K includes admission to the zoo, parking, a race T-shirt and other giveaways. A post-race party begins at 8:30 am. 

The Loyola Medicine 5K helps support pediatric programs at Loyola Medicine, including a 98-bed, full-service children's hospital. The hospital-within-a-hospital consists of:

​As a Level III Perinatal Center, Loyola offers the latest technology, therapies and techniques and serves as a national model for specialized protocols and practices in the care of premature infants. Loyola cares for more than 300 critically ill newborns each year.

Brookfield Zoo is located at 8400 W. 31st Street, Brookfield, Illinois. Free parking will be available near the north gate.


About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.